European and Ukrainian judo champions: results of young athletes after participating in the Olympic Dreams project in Japan

In almost two years of the Olympic Dreams project's existence, its participants have won over 30 medals at Ukrainian and international judo competitions. Moreover, only in the last few months, after participating in another sports camp in Japan, they won 5 more gold medals at competitions in Ukraine and an unexpected silver medal at the European Championship.

At the end of October, judoka Denys Tupytskyi, who participated in the Olympic Dreams project camps, including the one in Japan, became the Ukrainian adult judo champion. A total of 38 participants from all over the country competed for the gold medal in the 60 kg weight category. Denys secured an early victory by defeating his rivals in 5 matches on the tatami. From the first days of the full-scale invasion, the athlete joined the National Guard to defend the country. Nevertheless, he did not give up his training, and he continues to improve his skills and participate in competitions.

“The results demonstrated by Olympic Dreams athlete participants exceeded our wildest expectations. Step by step, we came a long way from a personal initiative to a large international project with camps around the world that actually saves the Ukrainian Olympic reserve and young athletes. This is the result of the titanic work of our team to preserve the sporting future of Ukraine,” said Anatoliy Boyko, initiator of the Olympic Dreams project and patron of "The Future for Children" Charitable Foundation.
In early November, Ukrainian Olympic Dreams athlete participants claimed another victory – this time at the Federation Cup of Ukraine Judo tournament. At the event, judokas Vladyslav Shkondin, Anna Oliinyk-Korniiko, Valeriia Kravchuk and Inna Shynkarenko won four gold medals. Evelina Verbetska, Stanislav Hladskyi, Kateryna Bevziuk, Davlatzhon Mamadov and Yana Shymko won silver. Third place went to Illia Oliinyk, Dmytro Halich and Oleksandr Volotovskyi. In three weight categories – 57, 66 and 70 kg – the final fights were exclusively between Olympic Dreams project athletes.

Among the project participants, there are many young athletes, who have a great chance of becoming world judo stars. One of them is Inna Shynkarenko, who won this year's Junior European Cup. After participating in the Olympic Dreams project and three weeks of active training in Japan, Inna took part in the European Youth Championship, where she took 7th place.

Another promising young athlete of the Olympic Dreams project is Stanislav Hladskyi, who has recently completed the standard of master of sports in judo. He also became a bronze medallist at the Ukrainian Youth Championship and is currently preparing to compete for the junior championship next year.
Yana Dovhun is also a participant in the Olympic Dreams project and a vice-champion of Ukraine in judo at her age. This season started off difficult for her due to an injury, but despite this, she continued training and is quickly getting back into shape. Yana's coaches note that the young athlete's professional progress became especially noticeable after she participated in the Olympic Dreams project and gained unique experience during her training in Japan.

“It is the example of Yana Dovhun that shows the impact of the Olympic Dreams project: a talented athlete who feels supported and has the opportunity to gain valuable experience in other countries, and ultimately demonstrates excellent results. For us, as coaches, this is the most important thing: the development, motivation, and victories of our students. After the start of the full-scale war, we faced a huge obstacle: many of our talented athletes were thinking of emigrating from the country. However, thanks to the Olympic Dreams project and our joint efforts, almost all of our young sports stars have stayed in the country and are winning medals under the blue and yellow flag,” said Oleksandra Starkova, the project's coach.

On the 21st of November, another participant in the Olympic Dreams project demonstrated a magnificent result during a European competition. Anna Oliinyk-Korniiko took second place at the European Judo Championship for Youth Under 23 in Potsdam in the 70 kg weight category. On her way to the final, Anna finished all her bouts ahead of schedule with victories over representatives of the Netherlands, Georgia and Poland. In the final, Anna performed a brilliant ippon throw against the German athlete, but the judges did not count it, awarding the victory to the venue hostess.
Currently, the Olympic Dreams team continues its work and is organising new sports camps in peaceful and friendly countries. Thus, several options for new camps for young athletes for 2024 are being considered.

We would like to remind you that the Olympic Dreams international sports camps project has been implemented by the “The Future for Children” Charitable Foundation since March 2022.

The format of the sports camps has been successfully implemented in 6 countries: In 2022 – in Israel and Greece, in 2023 – in the Republic of Cyprus, in Spain, Slovakia and Japan. In addition to judo, the project supports the development of such sports as football, handball, fencing, rhythmic gymnastics, taekwondo, and karate.

The project was supported by the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine, the NOC of Ukraine in Kyiv Region, the Judo Federation of Ukraine, the city councils of Irpin and Bucha, and a number of host country embassies.

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